My Poem “Between” Is Up On Clade Song


I thought I’d repost this as it was given short shrift during the 30/30 frenzy.

Many thanks to editors Joshua McKinney and Tim Kahl for including my poem “Between” in the current issue of Clade Song, one of my favorite poetry journals. A recording is also available for your amusement. And please check out the beautiful and intriguing musical piece on the home page – composed of various animal calls, guitar, flute and shaker.

45 thoughts on “My Poem “Between” Is Up On Clade Song

  1. well done on getting published somewhere you like, i felt the same about FourTies, as i admired the John Michael Flynn poem about George Bashovia & your own poem there. i can’t help but feel ‘between’ doesn’t have the same abstruse force your poems usually have Robert. what i always admire about your poems is how they baffle with such erudite abstractions that are handled like origami & proverbial phrases that hint at something purely of feeling, the life of emotion itself, i read your poems open to that sensation & it always satisfies, but it didn’t happen with ‘between’, i wonder why? it is quite peculiar. i hope this doesn’t upset you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! How dare you not love all of my poems! I was a bit surprised that this one was taken over the others I’d submitted, as I felt they were superior pieces. But that seems to happen quite often. This one seems to be a bit more “clinical” in tone, perhaps in part due to the circumstances – I was suffering from a sciatic nerve problem, feeling uncomfortable, in pain. I believe that I “stepped back” a bit, and wrote from a slightly different perspective. I’m so pleased that you noticed – very perceptive of you.


  2. I think Daniel’s comments above are interesting, as I also noticed that “Between” seems to diverge a bit from your norm, predominantly in that it is a bit more verbose than a lot of your other pieces (which actually resonates stylistically for me, as I’m sure you can imagine…). Otherwise, I find that your hallmark convergence of metaphysical/abstract concepts with natural/tangible imagery is well intact, not to mention exceedingly erudite…

    Yet, while Daniel (perhaps, not wrongly) seems to have felt an absence of the exquisite, piercingly emotional imagery that your readers generally enjoy and expect, I didn’t experience the world of “Between” as being emotionally wanting, exactly because I understood the poem’s denial of resolution/satisfaction for the reader to be deliberate, which definitely felt disconcerting, but I’d say refreshingly so. I received this between-ness (and its fitting sense of existential dimness and lack) through the giving that only withholding makes possible; and I felt an emotional clarity and complexity that only a clinical survey can afford.

    Anyway, congratulations on placing this poem!

    Liked by 2 people

    • The circumstances of Between’s genesis are out of the norm, too. I was asked to submit a few pieces to a themed publication, and I started writing this poem. Try as I might I couldn’t make it fit the theme, and I let the deadline pass, even though I’d completed the piece. It wasn’t quite right. I’d been concentrating on a series of prose poems for a few months, and this was a shift from that. Nine months later, I revised and sent it, almost as an after-thought, to Clade Song. The one piece I considered a shoe-in was returned to me, as were the other two good candidates. Ha! I’ll never understand the mysteries of the publications process, as this seems all too common.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I totally get that dynamic. My knee-jerks and afterthoughts seem to be more positively received, in general, too. For instance, whenever I send in clever form poems to clever form poem contests, I get crickets in response. When I submit a veritable temper tantrum on paper (albeit a sophisticated one) on a whim before going in for back surgery, then promptly forget I even wrote the thing, I get a Pushcart nomination… Lol! Maybe there’s something to that? Of course, as soon as we become aware of that fact and make any effort to tailor things accordingly, then the whole shebang gets undermined.

        So, the best rule of thumb I guess is not to have one — beyond refusing to compromise ourselves, that is…

        Anyway, I love your (I dare say like-minded) grapplings with ontological considerations (and their relevance to human spiritual viability), and I’m apparently not the only one! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.